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REACH: Norwegian request for stricter regulation

The Norwegian Minister of the Environment, Helen Bjørnøy, calls for EU to strengthen the bill for new chemical legislation.

15/02/2006 :: In a letter to EU Ministers and Members of the European Parliament, Helen Bjørnøy urge both institutions to adopt a REACH that ensures a strengthened regime. The Minister of the Environment emphasizes the Norwegian interest in the outcome of the REACH proposal. - As a part of the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway has the same chemical legislation as the EU, and is participating fully in the current expert groups in the chemical area, the Minister underlines in her letter. Bjørnøy express the importance of a strict set of rules for chemical regulation, as it will be a key instrument in protecting human health and environment from chemicals risks. - Due to the great amount of environmental poison Norway receive from other countries, this is of great concern to the Norwegian Government, says Helen Bjørnøy.

According to the Minister of the Environment, aspects of great importance to Norway where stricter rules are required, are amongst others the question of authorization. – This needs to be a tool for phasing out the use of dangerous substances, not a tool for administrating continued use. In general, this should not be given where safer substitutes are available, Bjørnøy states in her letter. In addition to this, the minister highlights the need for more information on low volume substances in the market, and a regulation that include the concept of duty of care. The latter has for many years been a part of Norwegian legislation.

 

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Norwegian Minister of the Environment, Helen Bjørnøy.Photo: Ministry of the Environment.

Photo: Council of the European Union.

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